Park Safety

Are the parks safe?  Yes.  The State Parks and National Parks want you to be safe and have a good time so they employ the following people to help keep you safe.

Park Rangers

     The role of the park ranger is varied and includes everything from acting as an information officer to maintaining the peace.  Park Rangers are trained police officers and can legally carry a gun.

Park Interpretive Staff

     These park employees have been trained to know about the biology and the history of the park.  They know about safety issues in the park such as nuisance animals, poisonous plants, hazardous water currents etc.  If you have any questions about the park, they should be able to answer them.

Campground Hosts (in most parks)

     Campground hosts live in the campground and are available to provide information, be a point of contact if there is trouble and to make sure camping fees have been paid.


Will I be attacked by animals when I visit a park?  Rarely do animals and reptiles attack humans.  When they do attack they are attacking because they feel threatened by you.  To avoid altercations with animals follow these tips

Crime in the Parks

Common Dangers in a Park

Just like at home danger exists.  Being aware of the possible dangers helps prevent accidents from happening. 

If a child cannot swim make sure they are under constant watch near a lake or river just like they would be if they were near a swimming pool in the city.

If someone in the group is allergic to insect stings, make sure that medications and a plan are available to aid them if they should get stung.  This is the same thing that should happen in the city.

Cuts, bumps and bruises happen at home as well as away from home.  Have a first aid kit ready to treat these injuries just like you would in town.

Sunburns are painful and occur when a person is not covered up or has not applied enough sunscreen.  Prevention works wonders.

Dehydration might occur more often when hiking or out and about because water needs to be carried with the hiker, hiking may keep a person outside longer than they are accustomed so they don’t have an idea of how much water they need and the beautiful surroundings might distract a hiker from remembering to drink enough water.  The solution to dehydration is to bring and drink water as well as monitor children’s water intake.

Lightning on a hike can be dangerous, especially in the mountains because afternoon thunderstorms with lightning are common.  To reduce your chances of having an issue with lightning, check the weather forecast at the park visitor center before going on a hike and make sure that hikes in exposed high elevation areas do not occur in the late afternoon when thunderstorms are more common.

Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees or 35 celsius  Because many hikers are used to living in cities and can go indoors when they get cold, they don’t think about what clothing they need to bring on a hike in case the weather turns cold or rainy and cold.  To reduce the chances of having an issue with hypothermia, it is good to bring waterproof clothing like a poncho or rain jacket and pants on a hike in the mountains plus an insulating layer like a sweatshirt or fleece to help trap heat generated by your body.

Child Safety

As in the city, make sure that children always travel in groups with other children or that children have an adult nearby.  Then if something does happen, there will be someone to help out.